Wednesday, November 20, 2002

Sacrificial nature of the Mass

One of the complaints that some people have about the Mass since the reform of '69 is that the reformed order (allegedly) downplays the sacrificial nature of the Mass.

I understand the gist of the complaint: there is less sacrificial language, compared to the order of the Mass prior to 1969. But really, how much does that matter? The Mass is a sacrifice, regardless of how often (or rarely) the word "sacrifice" and its derivatives are used. If the order of the Mass never used the word, the Mass would still be sacrificial in its nature.

So what's the problem? Perhaps those who make the complaint worry that the people will somehow forget the sacrificial nature of the Mass if we reduce that language. But that can't be, can it? If it were, that would be an indication of poor catechesis, if anything. People shouldn't have to hear the word "sacrifice" to know that that is the nature of the Mass.

Perhaps there are other reasons which prompt people to complain so strongly about the change in language. But again, I don't really see what relevance this has: the Mass remains a re-presentation of the one sacrifice of Jesus Christ, regardless of how often the word is used.

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